The Alternative Break and Service Learning trips give students the opportunity to embark to domestic and international destinations, engage in community service, and gain an understanding of pertinent social issues through experiential learning.

Colgate students at Pathfinder VIllage

The Alternative Break Program gives students the opportunity to embark to domestic and international destinations to engage in community service and deepen their understanding of pertinent social issues through interaction, collaboration, and experiential learning. The COVE strives to train students as leaders and advocates for social change. Students are encouraged to take an active role in initiating and planning trips.

Spring 2020 Alternative Break Opportunities

Habitat for Humanity

Salem County, New Jersey: $100

Habitat for Humanity houses are simple, decent, and affordable to low-income families. Whenever possible, Habitat builds energy-efficient, sustainable housing. Habitat lends no-profit, no-interest, mortgage loans to its beneficiary families. The goal of Habitat for Humanity is to help solve the global housing crisis and help the 48.5 million people living in poverty.

Students will be working with the Habitat for Humanity of Salem County New Jersey to help build a new construction home in the area. Volunteers will be working side by side with a construction manager who will guide them through the process. No previous construction experience needed. This trip counts as one physical education credit.

Leadership Development with Pathfinder Village

Edmeston, New York: $50

Pathfinder Village is a caring community offering independence to people living with Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities.

Volunteers will take part in a five-day inclusive team building program designed to build shared learning, mentoring, and coaching relationships between Pathfinder Village Otsego Academy students and college age peers. Student volunteers will work with residents on a variety of activities. These may include a ropes course, photography projects, cooking, and planning a St. Patrick's Day event for other residents. The goals of this trip are to build relationships with Pathfinder staff and residents while providing the organization with valuable service that will impact the lives of participants for years to come.

Applications are due by 4pm on Wednesday, February 5th.

Women prepare a meal in Otavalo, Ecuador

Service Learning Trip to Ecuador

Sponsored by the COVE and the Center for International Programs, this service learning trip to the indigenous Andean municipality of Otavalo, Ecuador, and surrounding countryside makes front and center the question of how communities might build autonomous bases that are resilient and impervious to the interventions of the state and private capital. In addition, participants in this trip look critically at such concepts as "service learning" and "voluntourism" and ask what the explicit and implicit objectives, costs, and benefits of such trips are.  

Participants meet approximately five times throughout the semester to discuss the above questions and to prepare themselves intellectually and emotionally for the trip. Conversational Spanish is a desired prerequisite for participating.

Colgate students in New York City on an immersion trip

Non-Profit Immersion Trip

The COVE, Center for Career Services, and the Common Good Professional Network will host a two-day, non-profit immersion trip to New York City in January 2020. 

The trip will provide an overview of the non-profit sector. Through site visits, alumni career stories, and networking opportunities, participants will learn about career options within the field, see different offices and organizational cultures from the inside-out, and network with alumni.